Hospitality employees inevitably face emotional exhaustion when performing their jobs. The purpose of this study was to investigate dispositional antecedents of hospitality employees’ emotional exhaustion, including self-instability, pessimism, and affect variability, and how employees’ affect variability mediates the relations between self-instability and pessimism and emotional exhaustion. In addition, we explored the moderating role of positive work reflection on the relation between affect variability and emotional exhaustion. A total of 224 frontline employees in 18 four- and five-star hotels in Ecuador responded to surveys about their emotions and work lives. The findings suggest that (a) emotional exhaustion was influenced by affect variability, (b) affect variability mediated the relations between self-instability and pessimism and emotional exhaustion, and (c) the relation between affect variability and emotional exhaustion was weakened by positive work reflection. The results highlight the importance of potential low-cost and easily trainable interventions that could help in attenuating the negative effects of highly variable emotions and the resulting exhaustion that are prevalent in the hospitality industry. This research is among the first to examine the dispositional antecedents of emotional exhaustion, and the first to highlight the role of positive work reflection as a moderating variable that can buffer the negative effect of affect variability on emotional exhaustion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management